Project director Nan Flowers, editor Edith Mallard, assistant editor Wayne Priester and 21 other Bradwell Institute Career Education students printed a booklet, "Sand & Pine: Glimpses of Other Liberty Days," in 1976, as part of the bicentennial celebration going on in Liberty County. These students were to discover through interviews what the prevailing occupations were in this area and what life in general was like two generations before them. Most of the students interviewed their grandparents.
This small publication was to serve several purposes — primarily, as a source of information and enjoyment, and for some to reminisce, and for others, a challenge to add to the growing store of printed matter on life in “other Liberty County days.” I talked to Mrs. Flowers about this book after I discovered it pressed between larger books in the local library. She said they based it after the Foxfire series of books. I enjoyed it very much and asked if I could share “voices from the past” with my readers.
This interview is with Mrs. Lucille Phillips.
“When I came to Hinesville I got my first electric stove, the kind that stood up on high legs. Housekeeping was about like it is now, except for all the electric conveniences. We didn’t have all these appliances. At that time I did have an electric iron, so that was a great saving there and I don’t know why but tubs to have your washing done in were hard to get, so my husband built us something like a trough with partitions in it, three of them as large as big tubs and we had a woman that came to our house once a week and washed our clothes and came back another day and ironed them. We don’t do that today. We wash our clothes every day if we want to, and with the washing machine and dryer we never have to go outside. So, that’s been a great change.
"You want to know about something else? The house that I lived in had a big shelf or big table built out in the kitchen with a spigot on it so we did have running water, but no kitchen sink. So we caught the water in a dish pan. We’d wash our dishes and then had a kettle of hot water on the stove to scald our dishes. That was back in those early days of 1936. Now these are just a few of the things and changes we’ve made in these past 40 years.
Clothes have changed quite a bit. I have a picture of myself that I can’t realize that’s me. The hair parted on the side and combed flat down with a little bit of curl. If we had to go to the beauty shop you’d pay 25 cents to have your hair shampooed and set with deep waves which we thought were very, very pretty. Then when we did get a permanent we were hooked up to a machine which almost pulled your scalp off which I thought was very dangerous but we wanted to be pretty, of course, so I went through all of that. So, I have this picture of myself. I had on a black dress. I can’t imagine people of this day and age dressing for their dressy dress wearing a black dress and it is down almost to my ankles. My shoes are like old lady comforts that women used to wear. But, I thought I was real dressed up. And that’s the way our clothes looked in those days.
Food hasn’t changed too much in these years, except the prices have gotten higher; that’s about all I can say, a lot of the cakes and things are in mixes, bit I still do the old time cooking. I don’t use these mixes. So, to me, it hasn’t changed too much.
When we first came to Hinesville, Sept. 1, 1936, there was no Baptist Church here. We were very much disappointed ‘cause we just couldn’t understand why God had sent us to a place like this. We didn’t know a soul, so we had to put our five children (3 girls and 2 boys) in a church somewhere. They first started going to the Methodist Church Sunday School, then my husband started teaching the Men’s bible Class at the Methodist Church. And I even sang in the choir. I can’t carry a tune but I did. I guess they used anybody that could make a noise. After that, I don’t know why, we started going to the Presbyterian Church over in Flemington. And my children started going to the Bible School in Flemington, the Presbyterian Church.
We hadn’t been here but a very short while before there were just two or three Baptists here that wanted a church and came to my house and talked it over with us one night. And we got busy to see how many Baptists we could find in Hinesville that wanted a church. We were celebrating our 100thanniversary. Hinesville was 100 years old the year we came here. So, we started out and we got 11 members, five of them from my own home. It’s the house in Hinesville where Mr. Robert Kitchings lives now that was my home. We paid $13 a month for rent.”
The First Baptist Church was organized April 25, 1937. In August, Rev. C. L. Phillips, Lucille’s husband, became the first pastor. The first building was occupied July 1938 on the corner of Bradwell and Washington Street. Today, the First Baptist Church has a beautiful new sanctuary located on the same street. It has come a long way since being organized in 1937.